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Comparison of different element types in structural analysis

Components for occupant restraint systems usually undergo structural analysis before hardware prototypes are made. In most cases the simulation is nonlinear in geometry, material and boundary conditions. Additionally, the load case often is highly dynamic. For this purpose explicit FEM is a suitable tool. It is well known, that the accuracy of deformations and especially stresses has to be checked carefully in some cases. Therefore, a comparison of different modeling approaches has been performed for basic analytical load cases. The examined variations included: Shell and solid mesh, different degrees of discretization, element formulations. All models have been run in LS-DYNA, some selected ones as well in PAMCRASH and ABAQUS Standard, for reasons of comparison.